To my husband,
In all those months of pregnancy, we daydreamed and imagined what our daughter would be like and what our lives would be like with her. I'm not sure any more what we imagined, what we thought a newborn would be like, because it seems like nothing could have prepared me for what it has been like, And nothing could have prepared me for what it would be like to watch you become a father.
After more than a decade together, I thought I knew your every move. I thought I had seen every side of you and I am watching in wonder as a new side of you is revealed. When they first wheeled me into the recovery room, you played our song while you walked around the room holding our daughter, not even hours old, and I was amazed at how natural you looked and how full my heart was to see you with her. The way you hold our daughter gingerly and stare at her, softly saying her name over and over. The way she quiets when you hold her even when she fusses for me. Your willingness to get up at the worst hours just to soothe her so that I can finally lay down and rest. Thank you for letting fatherhood come to you naturally and tenderly.
And thank you for loving me through what feels like my crash landing into motherhood. You have cared for me gently and generously in the last few weeks. You have tended to me physically, making sure I'm not lifting or straining, making sure I'm drinking enough water and eating enough vegetables and even making sure I relax with much needed beer. You've held me when I am reduced to tears. You have not shied away when I have discussed at length my terribly un-glamorous postpartum body issues. You've encouraged me in every difficult moment of nursing, even when I am at my wits end and snapping at you in my frustration. And you are my biggest supporter every time the anxiety sweeps over me and I'm sure I can't hack it at this whole mother thing.
Mostly though, you have given me the space to feel every feeling, even the ones that have come hard and fast and left me raw and vulnerable. You have created a safe space for me to say out loud everything that I am struggling with and every terrifying realization of how much I love this little person without offering solutions or getting overwhelmed by the magnitude of my emotions. Eva and I are both so needy right now and you are soothing us both in that stoic and quiet way that only you can.
This is a precious and difficult season and I would not want anyone else by my side.